Family of David Carter desperate for answers

CHRIS NIELSEN photo<br> The family of David Carter is trying to cope with the mysterious accident which took his life on Aug. 20. Left to right: David's brother Nick, his mother Maria Garibay Carter, cousin Lissamarie Garibay King and his aunt Melissa King.

OCEAN PARK - David Carter's family can't rest and won't anytime soon until there are some answers, said his mother Maria Garibay Carter in an interview on Saturday. David, 19, of Ocean Park, was killed on his way home from work in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Aug. 20.

He had just got off work at the Shoalwater Restaurant in Seaview, and was heading home when he was run over by two vehicles on State Route 103 just north of Cranberry Road.

The driver of the first vehicle which struck him contacted the Pacific County Sheriff's Office at 1:31 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, and told a 9-1-1 dispatcher that he had just run over somebody. Ten minutes later a second driver called and said he also ran over someone at the same location on SR 103. Both drivers said David was lying in the northbound lane of Cranberry Road when they struck him.

For grieving family members, the main thing they want know is how he mysteriously ended up lying in the road that night.

"I want answers," said David's mother Maria. "I want to know how he got there. My son said once that if anything ever happened to him to tear down everything to find out what happened. I want to respect his wishes and I am going to do this until I find something out. It shouldn't be swept under the rug."

David got off work the night he was killed at 12:20 a.m. at the Shoalwater Restaurant and was last seen by a waitress there, who said she didn't think there was anything unusual about the way he acted before he left.

According to his brother, Nick, 24, who worked with David that night at the Shoalwater, he left at 9 p.m. and figured David would hitch-hike home, which he had been known to do. It is approximately five miles from the Shoalwater Restaurant to where David was run over.

"I don't think there was any way he could have gotten to Cranberry Road on foot by the time he was hit," said Nick. "He didn't walk that fast. He had a real slow gait when he walked."

David's mother also said she thought it was unlikely he made it that far on foot and wonders if he may have gotten a ride that night, possibly with somebody he met up with in the downtown district or that somebody picked him up on SR 103.

"He normally hitch-hiked, but he also got rides with people," said Maria. "I can't help but think that he may have gotten into a car and ran into trouble. Maybe he was hit by a car before the other two cars came along - I don't know. I just want to find out what happened that night and I feel there is somebody out there that knows."

At the request of the family, an autopsy was performed. The results were inconclusive, according to Pacific County Coroner Mike Smith. He said the only thing that the autopsy report shows was that David died of blunt-force trauma. Smith said he is still waiting for toxicology results which would show whether there was any alcohol or drugs in David's system when he died.

According to Pacific County Sheriff John Didion, the autopsy's preliminary findings reflect the mechanics of the accident and the manner of which he was struck, but nothing more. At this time the Pacific County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into the events of Aug. 20.

"We've been working closely with State Patrol," said Pacific County Sheriff John Didion.

Didion said the Sheriff's Office is following up on any information that will tell investigators more about what happened between the time David left work that night at 12:20 a.m. and when the first call came into the Sheriff's Office approximately an hour later.

"We would appreciate any information from anyone who may have had contact with or noticed David hitch-hiking or walking on SR 103 that night," said Didion (See Page A12 for picture of David).

The Washington State Patrol is conducting its own investigation, focusing on the collision. State Patrol Trooper Glen Tyrrell said on Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, that so far information has been gathered from the scene and a number of interviews have been completed from people who came forward right after the incident.

"Right now we are looking for people who may have further information," said Tyrrell. "If anyone has any information about the events of Aug. 20, we are asking them to call us."

To report information about the events of Aug. 20 relating to David Carter, contact Detective John Huntington at the Washington State Patrol office in Bremerton at (360) 405-6643 or the Pacific County Sheriff's Office at 642-9403.

A memorial fund to help with burial costs has been established for David Carter. Donations may be made at any branch of The Bank of the Pacific.   

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